EA, Virgin and GameStop Move Into eSports, Don't Get eSports

Pushing for an audience that might not exist

by on 19th Feb, 2013

In an attempt to make acceptance of eSports more prominent, the team of EA, Virgin and GameStop have Voltroned together into a form that offers 900 people the chance $1 Million. All they have to do to be in with a chance of collecting it is to compete in a FIFA, Madden and NHL tournament.

Virgin Gaming’s Wim Stocks lets us know that the above three games were chosen for this endeavour because “people who watch sports understand what’s happening in these video games. They might not if they’re playing a game of Call of Duty or StarCraft II.”

This is true, but this doesn’t ultimately make a lot of sense. Games like Call of Duty or StarCraft show off impossible situations that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Games like FIFA are refined as much as possible to be simulacra of an existing game that the audience could already see being played by professionals using their real bodies.

Seemingly it’s obvious that given the choice to watch a real version of a sport and a version that’s technically made to be as close to reality as possible, what you’re going to watch is the real version. An argument that the audience is more likely to understand what’s happening might be a detriment to their enjoyment, that realising what they’re doing is watching a far nerdier version of a thing that already exists might even temper their enjoyment.

DOTA or Starcraft are eSports mainstays for the depth, complexity and mastery necessary to not only excel, but to even overcome.the initial hurdle, but they’re also impossible situations that will never exist and are spectacles to observe. They are nothing like anything you can compare to in real life and that’s far from a detriment to their marketability, that’s their selling point.

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